Today I learned the danger of using words. An issue came up in production the previous night, and after receiving some attention from development (as soon as you start carbon-copying the business people start waking up), I sent out a note that things had been resolved “due to expedient help from the development team.” Now, what I was trying to say relied on a deprecated definition of the word, causing my phrase to mean something entirely different. Instead of saying expeditious, speedy I was saying self serving and self interested. The definition from freedictionary gives me slightly less harsh definitions, which is reassuring, but still is not the most flattering adjective.
Depending on who you talk to, I may have unconsciously been intending to use one of the less flattering meanings of the word, and looking back, nothing I said was incorrect. However, this is not a particularly professional approach. The weird thing is I have no idea where I picked up this misconception of the word. The dangers of reading classics, I guess? Had I another few lifetimes, going through and evaluating my vocabulary would be benefficial, but there is hardly the time. I suppose I could start listening to those various word power CDs, but that really does not sound like a good time.